Encourage the children to think about the different parts of a trip to the doctor. First you wait in the waiting room. The doctor will take your temperature and look in your ears and throat: ‘Can you say ahh for me’. She will listen to your chest. She will look on her computer and makes some notes, then write you a prescription for a medicine to make you feel better. Role playing out the details with the children in this manner can help to cement in children’s minds what they should expect from their visit, especially if they are nervous about the idea.
One way you can really help children is to encourage them to learn the names of their body parts so that they can describe which parts of them are feeling ill to you, their parents, and the doctor. Learning to verbalise a few basic symptoms such as: spots, temperature, headache, runny nose, ears hurt, rash, sore throat, feel sick, tummy hurts etc., will also be an enormous help to them.
What are the key points I should tell the children?
- Visiting a doctor isn’t scary. Doctors are people who help us.
- Doctors help you to get better when you are ill.
- Sometimes you go for injections that will help you NOT to get sick.
- It is important to take medicines that doctors give you.
- You must never play with medicines or take anyone else’s medicines.